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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 18, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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ground are waiting for aid. >> ann curry is on the ground. solicitor general ted olson from the high powered team fighting the prop 8. and if at first you don't succeed, is it smart to try again? the prosecutor says that the case is not over against rod blagojevich after a jury dead locks on the corruption charges. >> the government threw everything but the kitchen sink at me and on every count except for one they could not prove that i did anything wrong. good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. we begin in pakistan charities linked to some groups say the only aid is -- this is pakistan one year ago and then just this
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week. right now, 20% of pakistan is flooded, under water. ann curry has our report from islamabad. ann? >> reporter: one of the 20 million affected families struggle to survive. without food, electricity, clean water, or any outside help: we have nothing, his wife is saying. this baby i hold in my arms, i pulled that child through the waters. i thought only about saving my children. she saved all five, though nine months pregnant. her husband was at work. and found them four days later stunned his entire family, including the grandparents survived. this nation's trauma is turning to anger. with a fifth of the country flooded and on the move, traffic is stopped saying that the
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government has done nothing. only pakistan's army, which has rescued 600,000 people so far, including this boy today, escaped the fury. >> they did their best in pakistan. >> reporter: they lost everything and saved a few family photos. and some dishes. still, they've offered all nine members of the family a place to sleep and what little food they can find. one family of flood victims helping another in the epic struggle to save pakistan's future. >> and ann curry has been traveling all day in the floodwaters and joins us live by phone. devastating images and the heartbreaking stories that you are covering. what can you tell us about the mood there now? you firsthand ran into the anger boiling over? >> reporter: that's exactly right. 21 days after the catastrophe
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began, millions have yet to get any help and protesters started fire, blocked roads, and our own car was surrounded for a time. people were intensely angry at the slow response by the dawari government. people say they no longer support him and that the catastrophe is destabilizing the already weak government. and today in russia, he was in europe when the crisis was beginning, so that is not warned him any people cheering for him at this moment. >> ann, that is just incredible. because he was in uk and in europe for the beginning of the crisis and people were astounded by that. the military trying to fill the gap and the islamic charities some of which are linked to terror groups. can the government survive? what is your assessment from the
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ground. >> reporter: well, it's difficult to say that at the moment. i will say there is a real push by the united states and the outside world and his argument has been in going to some of these places that he's trying to procure money to help people in the flood relief. but that is not, of course, going over well for people hearing that argument on the ground suffering. but there is a real effort, as you know, by the u.s. and united nations to get outside help. that's an important fact for he here. there is a sense that if it's not done soon enough, as a result, there will be serious questions about whether this government can survive. i mean, we've gotten to that point. this catastrophe is a huge danger to the government. i think you're right about asking that question. >> well, ann curry, be safe and continue your great work over there. we'll be at the u.n. tomorrow
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with hillary clinton. there's going to be a be focus of hillary clinton and richard holbrooke and others to get the attention of others. ann curry live in islamabad. we'll hear your report on nightly news and of course on "today." as the last u.s. combat troops prepare to leave iraq, there's a diplomatic transition under way. ambassador christopher hill ending his tour of duty. his many roles including north korea's nuclear threat. he was part of the team that negotiated the end of the war in bosnia and joins me here now live. chris hill, 33 years in the diplomatic service. from a diplomatic family, your son is involved in public service and has been in iraq and heading to afghanistan. you have a record here but the record in iraq, let's talk about your sense of what has been achieved with the government still five months after the
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election not having formed an official government and u.s. combat troops pulling out. >> when i got there, there were 140,000 u.s. troops and we'll be at 50,000 by the end of august. so i think from -- for americans, iraq, which was a war, is now a country. so the question s. what kind of a relationship are we going to have with that country? i've been working on that a lot over the past two months. as much as you try to put them on your time schedule, they revert back to theirs. >> and it's the factions, the rivalries there. >> there's a lot of history there. a place that was really the dawn of civilization. but there's a lot of politics, too. and there are two coalitions when you look at the popular vote, something on the record of
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and when you have that kind of closeness, even in the u.s. we have some experience with that. it's not easy. >> what role is iran playing? well, iran certainly has been helping these various groups. sometimes we you heard them, saw them. so they've been helping and they have kind of a ben nef voe lent influence there. they also try to be active politically. but i have to tell you everything that they've asked for they haven't gotten. so i think the iranians are frustrated and my advice is to take a deep breath and realize that we have a long-term interest until iraq and i suggest that they respect that solve vern tea and stay out of internal affairs. >> what happened when the recruits trying to become police trainers only yesterday, was that al qaeda in iraq?
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>> you know, most likely it's al qaeda. what are they trying to accomplish? what political goals are they trying to achieve? killing, murdering 40 people and at some point -- >> you was t most complicad kind of negotiations. north korenow turning to youtube and facebook and another player that we're told is involved in this very uncertain succession to the jong-il >> yes. >> at is the future of north korea and its relations with snus? >> they have a very clouded future. >> we are finding ourselves.
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we are in the work with some of the partners and so-called six parties and we've got the north korea generals, at least on paper, to go for denuclear eye zags. so it doesn't mean that the problem is over. they've got nuclear material. but at least every day they are not producing material. >> in all of your roles, what was the most fulfilling, the most satisfying in 33 years of diplomacy for the united states? >> you take what your predecessor gave you. and i hope i've done that in iraq. my suck says sor is arriving tie day. i think he told them where the sheets and towels are. he will be all set. >> in the bombsheller? >> the bomb shelter.
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he dealt with a part of europe which was really under the ottomon empire. along came this artificial thing called yug go slaf via. what were we doing in the '90s? we were dealing with that empire. and we managed. i think the united states got in a little late. when we did get in, we did the right thing. i take a lot of satisfaction and i take inspiration from there to other problems because i think when we work with europeans and the u.n., with like mounted companies, we have a good ending. >> it's nice to end on a bright note. you've seen when you negotiated with richard holbrooke, there
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has got to be some satisfaction. thank you for your services. >> thank you very much. it really is nice to see you on these final days. and you're going on to the university of denver in. >> going on to the university of denver. so it's going to be a whole new challenge. looking forward to it. >> we'll be talking to you. thank you very much, christopher hill. coming up next, radical clear rick, promoter of peace. plus, one half of the star legal team fighting california's ban on same-sex marriage. former solicitor ted olson is joining us. this is andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. was growing back.. i was like, yes, this works... [ male announcer ] only rogaine is proven to regrow hair in 85% of guys. puhh puhh puhh putt and that's it. [ male announcer ] stop losing. start gaining. you struggle to control your blood sugar. you exercise and eat right, but your blood sugar may still be high,
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an event in columbus, ohio, a reporter asked if they had any regrets for comments on the iron and the president said that there is no regrets. >> the answer is, no regrets. >> so you can see that shouted comment gets him right back into it. let's go right to chief white house correspondent chuck todd in columbus traveling with the president today. he clearly feels very comfortable with where he is. no matter what criticism is he getting from candidates around the country, jeff. >> sure. well, it would look -- the fact is, the appearance that he may have tweeted his explanation on his original position that he said that last friday night, already some people were saying,
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gee, he sounds a little weak and scheme itch. i think he said he had regrets. yesterday we asked him theame question of bill burton on the air force one and he said simply, look, you know, and i thought they would be critical of the media coverage, which is sometimes what they do when they feel like something that the president says ignite as firestorm of sorts. and they did not. they said, we understand that there's a lot of passion about this particular issue and, you know what, it's okay if it's playing out. and in this respect, i think that the folks on both sides of the debate are punching themselves out to use a boxing metaphor out, punch themselves tired, and this will wear down as the president takes his break and takes the next ten days off. >> and when they speak privately to, you chuck, are they annoyed with harry reid for escalating this as a political matter? >> you know, they have not been
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critical of anybody even privately on how they've reacted to this because, frankly, they understand that they created a bit of a political problem for everybody else. i've talked to other democrats outside the white house who believe that the harry reid could have handled this differently, who think that maybe harry reid invited holding up more opportunities for republicans to put other democrats in a position to have to come out with a statement about this, have to deal with this in their own races because here's a guy who basically felt the need to respond to his opponent in nevada. so if he can respond, then, of course, why can't anybody else who is running for re-election in 2010 respond to their republican opponent in their district or state? so i think that is where the annoyance i've heard. i have not heard it from the white house because the white house gets it and the president himself said they read polls and know that they put members of their own party in an awkward
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position. the president himself felt like he had to speak out and the debate was getting so loud and heated and maybe unproductive. >> getting loud, heated, unproductive. we're going to set the record straight on some of that. and, of course, thanks, chuck. join chuck and savannah at 9:00 eastern on msnbc. chuck will be on air force one traveling to florida next with the president on this magical mystery tour. we are learning more about the man behind the proposed islamic center. it turns out that he's been an unofficial u.s. ambassador to the muslim world in addition to promoting peace and tolerance in manhattan. david, you've been looking at this from inside the white house and the state department and it's extraordinary. this is a man who traveled to
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doha in 2006 at the worst time in iraq war with karen hughes from the bush state department ann envoy, spoke out after 9/11. >> andrea, from everythinging that we can tell about him, he is almost a model of what you want as a moderate islamic clear rick with credibility among muslims to be sure who is prepared to speak out to the united states. they are going to design as an experiment a way to pull people away from al qaeda and it would be hard to think of somebody hard from this who says that the 9/11 attacks were working with the united states and it's right. speaking out against a violence is an obligation for muslims. if we're ever going to get out of this mess, if we're going to avoid a war with muslims around the war, which we all deeply
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want to do, this is the kind of ally we need and the attacks on him, i have to admit, i don't understand some of them. >> and walter isakson who we both know well from the institute was quoted assaying, he's consistently denounced terrorism and promoted a moderate and tolerant islam. that's why i find it a shame to be undermined by this dispute. he's the type of leader to be celebrating and not undermining. is it your sense, i know you had a meeting at the white house on the national security meeting a week or so ago and were at the state department and your sense from the president and his comments that he is trying to reach out because of what is coming up in the muslim world? he's got in the balance israeli and pakistani negotiations on a tipping point trying to get something going for the first week in september before he has to go to u.n. for the annual
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speech, the third week in september. this is a critical moment. >> my sense, andrea, with the president ten days ago, and i have to stress this was before his intervention at the ground zero mosque was that he wants to prominent in his presidency, both notably in his speech and reach out to the muslim world and make progress of his very difficult issues offize see palestinian negotiations, that he is signaling a willingness and desire to reopen the negotiations about the nuclear program. these are themes that the president was really hitting hard and i think it's -- but in the case of iran, it's a real last attempt before we get on a clock with the iran heading towards nuclear weapons capability, see some other way to go. >> now, president obama and ahmadinejad are going to be in new york for the new york general assembly currently scheduled. where do you think president
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obama is right now? given -- we both saw the atlantic saying that israel is willing to wait a year and then not? >> i will be reporting in the washington post tomorrow what the president hinted at ten days ago, which is that the iranians have said to the european union that they will attend talks with the so-called permanent members of the security council, plus germany, to resume conversations about the nuclear issue in late september or early october. so that is anticipated. so it's also possible that there will be technical talks on issues related to the so-called tehran research reactor, that would involve the u.s., russia, france, and iran. so there are a series of things that we know are coming up soon. so it's not a question whether or not iran is coming back to the table. they are coming back. and i think that's all part of
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the diplomatic round that the president would like to see take off in september. that gets us back talking about peace instead of confrontation. >> it's been a year since i was in gentlemeva. >> i think we're in a slightly different time slice now and people should understand it for what it is. it has a number of different components. you hope that the indig nation over the ground zero mosque is not so ferocious that muslims around the world say that americans don't want us. they don't want to have dealings with us z david, always a pleasure. thank you so much. coming up, republican candidates growing bolder now in their attacks on global warming. explaining the strategy, you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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you might think some republican candidates are challenging carly fiorina attacked an initiative on climate change going after barbara boxer. >> i'm barbara boxer on national security. >> the national security issues that we face is climate change. >> terrorism kills. and barbara boxer. >> joining me now is national security innish tifr on climate change. i just don't completely get it, especially in california. how does it work in a general election campaign in california? >> there's a big block of republican candidates in california but also elsewhere, in wisconsin where rob johnson
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is with russ fine gold and nevada where they are calling into the climate of global warming and it's been a big debate. we had it during the energy debate on capitol hill. what is surprising to us is we found a large number of people on the campaign trail sounding like james, who has been one of the most unspoken conservatives on capitol hill. >> sharon angle said that -- she said in june that the greenhouse gas legislation was pace withed on an unscientific hysteria over a warming hoax. it just seems that i thought that after al gore and all of that that it was pretty much a settled issue. you could argue about the economics and the priorities over it. lindsay graham and others have it. i didn't think that they would be arguing this year. >> at least they think that the
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sciences is being exaggerated to make a political case on carbon emissions and the energy bill. what you're seeing now is the feeling manifested in a lot of the rhetoric in these campaigns. rob johnson was very, very clear in this interview, where he said, i don't buy the science. i don't buy that argument. global warming could be by sun spots. it's just a different view and a lot of conservatives who hold that view. >> well, we'll see how it plays out in the elections. coming up next, right here, taking us inside the fight to overturn california's ban on same-sex marriage. plus, how a single juror turned the case against rod blagojevich into a victory. send me your thoughts. find me on twitter at mitchellreports.
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the headlines right now on "andrea mitchell reports." a nationwide egg recall because of 250,000 cases of salmonella. distributed around the country packaged. two new reports suggest the amount of oil still in the gulf is much higher than the government has estimated. after a single jury found him guilty on one count. wedding bells will not be ringing today for same-sex couples in california after the ninth circuit court of appeals
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reversed a lower court order putting a hold on all same-sex marriages. it's been a legal roller coaster for all involved, not just the couples but the high-profile legal team that overturned the ban. joining me now to take us behind the scenes, ted ol lson who won that argument. it's on hold and you expected a stay and now what happens? >> well, we did expect that a court of appeal will probably decide let's keep everything as it is until we get a chance to decide this case on the merits. the court of appeals out in california gave us an accelerated briefing. we will argue that case in early december. that's where we are anxious to get a decision promptly. >> with the expectation by many that this could go all the way by many to the supreme court,
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tactically it's better not to have the supreme court being asked to intervene on the stay issue as it would have been potentially next week, or this week if marriages had been permitted. so if it does get to the supreme court, it would be a full argument on all of the merits. in the long run, is it really better for people advocating, as you do, this legal right? >> well, we think that we made an awfully strong case in san francisco. its with a three-week trial. we put on 17 witnesses, including experts from all over the world. the judge rendered a 136-page comprehensive opinion discussing all of the issues on both sides. >> you're being kind because he very flatly rejected and disparaged the arguments by your adversaries here. >> he found that the evidence that witnesses that they put on had no credibility.
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and he didn't believe that the evidence that they put forward. in other words, this judge gave it a comprehensive hearing on both sides and looked squarely in our favor. if this goes to the supreme court, that's the record that we're very happy to defend. >> now, we know that you as the winning litigant before the supreme court in bush v. gore. you were the solicitor general then in george w. bush's administration. you come to this with a conservative perspective but believing in this right. >> david boyce was working on this case with me. >> you are the odd couple. you were the adversaries on bush v. gore. >> well, odd in the sense that we were on opposite cases in that one matter. first thing i did when i was asked to handle this case was invite david boyce to join me because we wanted to send a message that it's not a
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conservative issue or a liberal issue and doesn't involve republicans or democrats. it involves equality, justice, and what could be at the end of the day more conservative than two loving people that want to get married and build a family that want to be part of our neighborhoods and our kmun dee? that is a conservative valley. the american people should think and a growing number are thinking of this as our friends and our neighbor and equality and justice. >> let me ask you a difficult subject. your first wife died on 9/11 in the plane that went into the pentagon. how do you feel about this mosque that has been designated for within some blocks of lower manhattan of ground zero. >> it may not make me popular with some people but i think
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probably the president is right about this. i believe people of all religions have a right to build structures or places of religious worship or study where the community allows them to do it under zoning laws and that sort of thing and that we don't want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an ak of intolerance for people of religious faith. and i don't think it should be a political issue. it should not be a democrat or republican issue. i believe governor christie from new jersey said it as well. that should not be in the political partisan marketplace. >> let me finally ask you as one of the premier lawyers in the country, what would you do if you were the prosecutor in the blagojevich case and here a jury really soundly rejects your arguments. they didn't even put on a defense and now there is so much publicity. how do you get another jury impanelled and is it the rit
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thing to go after and proceed again? >> i wouldn't want to question the prosecutor. fitzgerald spent a lot of time on this. i would want to know -- the jury didn't decide in favor of blagojevich. it was a hung jury. so in some counts there was apparently only one juror that held out. if i was the prosecutor, i'd want to find out what was wrong. what did certain members of the jury not believe or not accept with respect to the burden of percent situation which is beyond a reasonable doubt from the case that i have put on before i made any judgments. but it's not easy and the prosecutor can't be happy. >> no, this is not a victory for mr. fitzgerald indeed. thank you very much, ted olson, it's great to see you. >> it's great to be here, andrea. thank you. and coming up, the politics behind that mosque controversy. from morning joe to our show, primetime with keeth, rachel, and chris. it's the fusion proglide challenge.
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nazis don't have a right to put up a sign next to the holocaust museum. there's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the world trade center. >> but have republicans like newt gingrich gone too far with comments like that one? joining me now is ben and karen finney. let me ask you, first of all, because you have the virtue of knowing the imam and you've brought with you a task force that you did -- >> secretary madeleine albright five years ago conducted -- not directly to this mosque issue but members of our task force --
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>> the first name on your list here. >> a lot of people very disstently on the right. imam is a very fine man and somebody that we should be cultivating as leader in the muslim world. >> and if that's true, i think that makes newt gingrich and other statements all the more he canless. here is a man known for being a moderate and a bridge to the muslim world and yet you've got newt gingrich that didn't just compare the muslims to the nazis but calls them a radical. and what that has done is really stopped us from that kind of rhetoric which is very dangerous for the republican party. >> i think the problem that some would have with it, why not do
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the research about this man, that he traveled with karen hughes and condoleezza rice. >> i've got to say someone should have advised the imam on how to do this without so much political outcry that we've had. much of it i agree with flat out misinformation but we've not aggravated a problem in this country that we should all be working to calm down. >> but what about some of the candidates from 2012? you're from minnesota and others in the republican party took a much different conclusive approach. >> i think -- i like governor christie's approach. i understand the republicans, we are both friends of mine, speaking out against this immediately. they are in sympathy with the
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victims of 9/11 or think that is what they are doing. i hope that they will quickly move on and allow this controversy to calm down. and move on to economy, health caring, taxes -- >> that's where mitt romney is now. >> doesn't the gop run the risk, the more youville lee fi -- this gentlemen is a moderate. and the people of faith and people of islam as enemies when we know that it was a group of var rifts, i think that further pushes the republican party to the right and makes it less of a party and that hurts the party more long term. >> but the other side of this, karen, is this side is reluctant to call anybody a terrorist and that produces a counter reaction on the other side. >> but we can't call a whole group of people terrorists. >> i agree. we have to be able to differentiate between those that are terrorists, extremists within religions. >> but this administration has dialed up the war in afghanistan.
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>> they have. >> they have done almost everything against radical islam and, in fact, have launched a war that some would say is of questionable legal tea by drone in pakistan and elsewhere, in yemen, without authorization. >> i think the rhetorical leadership -- substance matters. i agree with you on much that they have done. rhetorical leadership means. i think the president needs to clarify some of these issues. >> let me replay nancy pelosi. he's out in san francisco. this is what she had to say, suggesting some conspiracy theory regarding who is behind all of this. >> there is a concerted effort to make this a political iron by some and i join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded? how is this being ginned up?
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>> there are shades of the debate coming from the republican party in 2006, and fearmongering that is very dangerous. not just for the political dialogue but for our culture. when we try to villify one group of america -- >> karen, to say that there is a conspiracy to promote this, there is no evidence of that. >> i think she's saying, perhaps a political wedge issue that can be used to their benefit in 2010. >> karen, has the president beenen standing up enough about this? because some say obama represents himself as a paragon on high principle, so when he f flops around on things like don't ask, don't tell, it's not pretty. even worse, he's staked his historical reputation on a new
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friendlier engagement with the muslim world. the man who extended his hand to park place and tehran has withdrawn his hand from park place. >> i wish that the president and the communications operation had perhaps clarified what the president was saying from the beginning so we didn't -- there wasn't even a need to clarify it again on saturday. but i agree with what he said, and i'm glad that he spoke out. i think it's important to show the moral leadership around the moral constitutional issues. >> i don't agree, karen. it was a more localized issue. it's been around for a long time. the president turned it into a national political issue. yes, overreaction on the republican side. >> ben, karen, thank you so much. coming up, what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours. that's next right here. be sure to follow online at
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a. >> so which political story will be making the headlines in the next 24 hours. author of the fix blog and our good pal, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> first of all, the speaker's office is pointing out she doesn't think there's some conspiracy. she was just repeating the statement of interfaith alliance, but we played that part of her ber viinterview, it seem to be suggesting there was an organized opposition here. >> this comes after the friday, saturday, even sunday statements of the president and his advisers. so now we have nancy pelosi saying one thing, if not clarifying, just kind of reiterating or making -- well, let bees frank, clarifying. it just looks like a muddled message around this. again, i just always come back to this.
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every day that nancy pelosi, barack obama or anybody else is talking about a mosque is not a day they are talking about the economy and how the obama administration and democratic congress has put in place programs that are going to bring us out of this economic recession. and if you look at any poll, that's what this election is about. i would love to say i have an astute political eye, but if you look at any poll literally, it will the tell you that. >> what she's saying in her full statement is not what she said necessarily in that clip we played on the radio. i support the statement made by the interfaith alliance that we agree with the anti-defamation league there's a need for transparency about who's funding the effort to build the islamic center, and we should question who's funding the attacks against them. let's talk about florida. the spt down there and a poll shows some movement there in terms of who's on top and who's not in both parties. >> it has been amazing.
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right, andrea. the president is headed down for a democratic party fundraiser. florida, an important state. but you have two fascinating races. on the republican side, you have rick scott, former health care executive, head of columbia hca, spending $20-plus million of his own money, giving the lead back as the state attorney general is attacking him on columbia hca and the massive fraud settlement there. and you have jeff greene and kendrick meek absolutely punishing one another on television. for both parties it can't end soon enough, but for me i would love to see it go another week or two. >> thanks so much. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." you can follow the show online and on twitter. and here is jeff rossen. >> thank you so much.
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much more coming up next hour as we continue here, including the south carolina mother who allegedly confessed to killing her own kids and suffocating them. she's due in court. we'll take you there live. plus, it's been 12 years since former house speaker newt gingrich resigned in defeat. now his name is near the top of the polls for a 2012 republican presidential run. and an "esquire" magazine as a provocative new profile of gingri gingrich. ♪
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a south carolina mother accused of suffocating her two young children before driving them into a river. >> this is the fight for the very freedoms we as americans enjoy. >> new video today of illinois go


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